Buddhist prayers for world peace concludes in Bodh Gaya

ANI, Jan 12, 2009

Bodh Gaya, India -- Hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monks participated in a prayer ceremony for world peace that concluded here on Sunday.

The 17th Karmapa Lama, Ugyen Thrinley Dorje, led the prayer ceremony called 'Kangu Monlam' that began on January 4.

He is the only senior monk to be recognised by both Beijing and the Dalai Lama.

"This world peace prayer for eight days conducted under the leadership of Karamapa got over. More than 500 Buddhist monks have gathered here," said Gempo Cherin, secretary to the Karmapa Lama.

The prayer was conducted under the Bodhi tree, where Lord Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment.

The Tibetan Buddhist monks also offered alms and food to hundreds of poor people on the concluding day of the prayers.

"These monks have gathered here to take part in this traditional ritual of seeking alms. This tradition was started by Lord Buddha himself," said Gempo Cherin,

Residents and devouts offered 'Bhiksha' or alms as a part of the ritual in which monks beg with the purpose of self-effacement or ego-conquering.

Karmapa Lama escaped to India after an arduous 1,400 km journey through the Himalayas in January 2001.

Karmapa Lama, granted refugee status by India in 2005, is now settled in Dharamsala.